Harriett Grossman passed away suddenly, but peacefully, on April 27, 2008 in Santa Barbara, where she has been an active and loved member of the community for a quarter century. She was born in St. Louis, Missouri on September 22, 1923, and moved to Santa Barbara in 1983 to be close to her two daughters and-soon after-four grandchildren. While living here, Harriett’s natural compassion, charisma and passion for the arts helped to spin a large web of friends and connections, in many spheres of life.
Though her family roots were in the Midwest, Harriett moved around the country in the 1950s with her husband, Robert, a pioneer in early television broadcasting, and two daughters, Peggy and Sally. Among their stops along the way were homes in Wichita, Kansas, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Petersburg, Virginia, Tampa, Florida and Winter Haven, Florida. After she and Robert divorced in the late ’60s, Harriett put her communication skills to good use as a retail buyer and bridal consultant for Rheinauers Department stores. Part of her responsibility was to go on buying trips to New York City, where she also nurtured her abiding interest in music and other culture.
Once in Santa Barbara, Harriett got involved in various groups and could often be seen ushering at cultural events at the Lobero, the Arlington and other venues. She worked for Adult Education as a registrar, at the Schott Center, and was also active in volunteer work with the Mental Health Association and the Santa Barbara Zoo. She could also otherwise be found frequently around town, lending a smile or laugh to those who came into contact with her, whether friends or strangers. Though dogged by health issues in her later years, it never slowed her down or kept her from enjoying life to the fullest.
Harriet is survived by her daughters, Peggy Grossman and Sally McQuillan, son-in-law Joe Woodard, grandchildren Madeleine and Gene McQuillan and Sam and Claire Woodard, and sister Ruth Heidenheimer, of Cisco, Texas. She is preceded in death by two sisters, Clara Fuchs and Thelma Schermer.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Mental Health Association of Santa Barbara. For information on the memorial service, please call Welch-Ryce-Haider, 965-5145